Exclusive: Russia likely to resume Nord Stream 1 gas exports on schedule – Russian sources


  • This content was created in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine
  • Refurbishment of “Nord Stream 1” continues from July 11 to 21
  • Gazprom stopped pipeline gas deliveries in June

MOSCOW, July 20 (Reuters) – Russian gas flows on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline are likely to be restored on time on Thursday after scheduled maintenance is completed, but at less than full capacity, two Russian sources familiar with the matter told Reuters with export plans.

The pipeline, which accounts for more than a third of Russian natural gas exports to the European Union, was shut down for ten days of annual maintenance on July 11.

The Russian sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters the pipeline was expected to resume operations on time, but with a reduced capacity of about 160 million cubic meters (mcm) per day.

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Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom ( GAZP.MM ) cut gas exports on the route to 40 percent capacity last month, citing a delay in returning a Siemens Energy ( ENR1n.DE ) turbine serviced in Canada.

“They (Gazprom) will return to the levels seen before July 11,” one of the sources said of gas volumes expected through Nord Stream 1 from Thursday.

The benchmark Dutch front-month contract fell after a Reuters report that flows would resume on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the contract traded higher after the Wall Street Journal reported that the European Commission did not expect the pipeline to restart after the maintenance. Read more

Gazprom and Nord Stream 1 did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. In the past, Gazprom restarted Nord Stream on schedule after maintenance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the capacity of Nord Stream 1 could be reduced due to problems with other pumping units, one of which will have to be sent for maintenance on July 26. Read more

RUSSIA SAYS IT IS A RELIABLE SUPPLIER

Nord Stream 1, which runs along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to Germany, has been in the spotlight since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what Moscow described as a “special military operation”.

The West has accused Russia, the world’s biggest gas exporter and second-biggest supplier of crude oil, of using its energy supplies as a tool of coercion.

Russia has denied the accusations, saying it is a reliable energy supplier.

However, in a July 14 letter, Gazprom said it was retroactively declaring force majeure for supplies from June 14, a legal clause meaning it cannot guarantee gas supplies due to exceptional circumstances. Read more

The Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the situation, that Canada sent the turbine needed for Nord Stream 1 to Germany by plane on July 17 after repair work was completed. Read more

Siemens Energy declined to comment.

One of the sources told Reuters on Tuesday that the turbine was unlikely to be reinstalled until July 21.

Germany’s economy ministry said Monday it could not provide details on the turbine’s location.

But a ministry spokesman said the turbine was a spare part that was only meant to be used from September, meaning its absence could not be the real reason for the drop in gas flows before maintenance.

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Reporting from Reuters bureaus, additional reporting by Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt; edited by Barbara Lewis, Guy Faulconbridge and Louise Havens

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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